Feds May Allow Unregulated Pharmaceuticals in Water Supply
Federal regulators in charge of monitoring and controlling pharmaceutical drugs in your drinking water may allow the contaminants to go unregulated. Unsure “which pharmaceuticals pose human health risks,” the regulators are standing idle as millions are exposed to a cocktail of synthetic drugs on a daily basis. The presence of pharmaceuticals in US tap water is only a small piece of the pollutant puzzle, with US drinking water containing everything from cocaine to arsenic. And what about fluoride, is it really a toxic chemical? The truth of the matter is that “water fluoridation” is now a term that has come to represent the addition of over 40 chemicals into the water supply, not just fluoride. However, there are a number of revealing studies on fluoride itself.
There have been numerous studies highlighting the adverse effects of water fluoridation and other drinking water contaminants, but a slew of new scientific findings have sparked even more opposition to these chemicals than ever before. Most shockingly, a study has even linked fluoride to lower IQ in children. In the same vein, deadly carcinogens have been found in cities across the United States. Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, is a deadly carcinogen that was found in the drinking water of 31 U.S. cities. With the surge of new information exposing our drinking water as toxic sludge, a question arises. Could this information put a stop to the pollution and fluoridation of the public water supply?
Fluoride is added to 70% of the U.S. water supply. Kids who drink this water suffer from decreased cognitive function, according to research published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The study followed 512 children between the ages 8 and 13, with varying degrees of fluoride exposure. One group lived in a Chinese village with high fluoride levels, and the other in a Chinese village with low fluoride levels. The scientists conducting the study even eliminated other variables that may have affected brain health, such as iodine deficiency and lead exposure. With these variables eliminated, researchers found that the number of intelligent children in the village with low fluoride levels was 350 percent higher than those in the high fluoride village. Even more disturbing, 15% of the highly fluoridated children scored low enough to indicate mental retardation, verses 6% in the other village.
According to Paul Connett, Ph.D., director of the Fluoride Action Network, “This is the 24th study that has found this association, but this study is stronger than the rest because the authors have controlled for key confounding variables and in addition to correlating lowered IQ with levels of fluoride in the water, the authors found a correlation between lowered IQ and fluoride levels in children’s blood. This brings us closer to a cause and effect relationship between fluoride exposure and brain damage in children.”
In the first ever public analysis of hexavalent chromium in drinking water, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) uncovered even more disturbing information regarding the quality of the country’s drinking water. The EWG found that hexavalent chromium was present in the drinking water of 31 U.S. cities. This is a chemical that was labeled a “probable carcinogen” in 2008 by the National Toxicology Program. Despite causing cancer in laboratory rats, the federal government allows for a “safe” level of total chromium. This “total” chromium figure also includes trivalent chromium, which is a mineral that the body can actually utilize. What this means is that in many cases, hexavalent chromium could have made up the majority of total chromium in the water supply. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case for many of the 31 U.S. cities tested.
Other pollutants typically found in the drinking water:
- Lead, which can enter the water supply through corrosive pipes or improper water treatment
- Pathogens that cause disease and are especially crippling to those with weakened immune systems
- By-products of chlorine treatment such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems
- Arsenic, which may cause cancer, serious skin problems, birth defects and reproductive problems
- Radon, a carcinogen linked to lung cancer
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Natural Society staff contribution